In the summer of 2015, when everyone was holding festivals, Haneda Airport was no different. They held the Haneda Edo Festival in August, an event which makes travelers and participants feel they have slipped back in time. Good news for anyone who missed out the summer festivals – Haneda Airport will hold the festival again in January to celebrate the new year! From January 1st-3rd in 2016, you have the chance to enjoy the historical and lively atmosphere of the festival in Haneda’s international terminal.
On their website, the Edo Festival gives a background to bring you right into the world they have created. There is a timeslip in the airport and people from the Edo period have come to the present day! Everyone is supposed to be on the lookout for the golden Haraguro statue in a big investigation. Sounds pretty exciting, doesn’t it? Run by a famous Edo-era detective, with other characters as suspects, you can try your luck and figuring out this mystery while you enjoy the rest of the fun.
To make the atmosphere that of a New Year’s festival, the events in this winter version of the Edo Festival have changed. In addition to the stage play you can watch or the street performances you can enjoy, there is a street fair with Japanese-style games and a big Mochitsuki event!
Each day of the festival has a different stage event for you to watch! The selected day performances are to be done by a group of girls playing traditional instruments on the 1st, a magic show on the 2nd and a shamisen performance on the 3rd! There is also a traditional comedic stage play that will be held each day of the festival, so you won’t miss it!
The festival will be held on 2 floors of the airport – in the Edo-themed area, Edo Market, on the 4th floor and in the TOKYO POP area on the 5th. In both areas, there will be some “street” performances done by people in Edo-style clothes! You can see a wide range of entertaining performances throughout the day.
Mochitsuki is the traditional way that mochi is made and it is a custom for it to be done during the New Year holidays. Cooked rice is pounded with a large mallet, rotated and kept from drying by 2 people until it has reached the desired texture. If you go to the Edo Festival, at the end of the stage performances, the festival will close with people from that “Edo timeslip” making mochi!
But that’s not all! On their 5th floor, there is a street festival with Edo-era games to play like Senbontsuri (a toy-picking game for children). If you would like to play, make sure you get a ticket!
If games are not your style, you can always take your friend or significant other to the Picture Corner, and have your photo taken together in traditional clothes. There is even a craft workshop!
Another fun activity is the festival’s stamp rally. Visitors can collect stamps from different places throughout the areas in which the festival in being held. If you collect all of the stamps, you can win a prize!
The event is from 11:00 am until 7:00 pm. The stage performances will happen twice each day with the first round running from 11:00 until 2:20 and the second from 3:00 until 6:30, so if you miss something in the morning, you have the chance to see it again!
There seems to be an endless list of things to enjoy at the Haneda Edo Festival! If you want to have a more exciting New Year holiday in Japan, why not head over to the airport and have some fun Edo style?